Complete & Utter Failure

Neil Steinberg, Author
Neil Steinberg, Author Doubleday Books $17.5 (258p) ISBN 978-0-385-47291-3
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Paperback - 978-0-385-47970-7
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Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steinberg's book of humor is anything but a ``complete & utter failure.'' Rather, it is an informed and witty look at events, products and people that either never succeeded or first scored victories then faded away. He begins with the New York World's Fair of 1964, a fiscal fiasco from opening day, stops to survey such consumer items as butane candles and the Edsel, and attacks the national Spelling Bee, which turns kids into public failures. He goes on to victims of bad timing; those who insisted the impossible is possible, like inventors of perpetual-motion machines; and those who lived too long, like Newton, who devoted the last decades of his life to alchemy. Much fun. First serial to Granta; QPB and Library of Science Book Club selections. (Nov.)
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